"The Government have clearly sent the message to Shell, ‘you can do whatever you want’. Fortunately due to protest, the refinery remains unconnected to the gas field. If, as Shell planned, gas had been flowing by now, we would potentially all be dealing with a gas leak and explosion.”
FIANNA Fáil energy spokesman Éamon Ó Cuív has said he is “stunned” at the stance taken by Minister for Energy Pat Rabbitte on energy resources.
Mr Ó Cuív, former rural, community and Gaeltacht affairs minister, has also said some civil servants in two government departments were “resistant” to efforts that he and former energy minister Eamon Ryan made to resolve the Corrib gas dispute.
Speaking to The Irish Times Mr Ó Cuív said he believed oil and gas potential off the Irish coast represented the “ultimate Lotto”, in that energy companies had to risk major losses before making a find.
However, he said he was “stunned” by the response of Mr Rabbitte to a Sinn Féin Private Members’ motion last week proposing a review of oil/gas licensing and revenue terms.
Mr Rabbitte told the Dáil there was a “developing myth that Ireland has vast discoveries of oil and gas off our shores and that imposing a higher rate of tax on production of these petroleum resources would eliminate all of our financial worries”. Mr Ó Cúiv said the Labour Party had a different view in its general election manifesto.